There is no material time to remove from Afghanistan all the Afghans who worked for the international coalition forces . That is the message that the European Union, Great Britain or France have sent in recent days , aware that time is running out to get the tens of thousands of Afghans out of the country who risked their lives to defend the interests of the coalition. during the last two decades of warfare.
The final decision rests with the United States . Its president does not rule out extending the date beyond August 31, a decision that, however, is not without risks. The Taliban have warned that “there will be consequences”if international forces postpone their departure from the country.
“It is a red line . Joe Biden announced that on August 31 he would withdraw all military forces, “said Suhail Saheen, one of the Taliban representatives in Doha (Qatar), where the armed group has its political office. “That will create mistrust between us. If they try to extend the occupation, it will provoke a reaction ”. There is no departure date set in stone on the calendar.
The agreement reached early last year between radical Islamists and the Trump Administration, a kind of non-aggression pact that extracted vague promises from the Taliban in exchange for a firm withdrawal commitment, stipulated that US troops would leave the country on January 1. of May, a date that has obviously not been met.
In this new Dunkirk that the Kabul evacuation has become, the Taliban are the problem, but also an integral part of the solution. Because they have not only dispersed with sticks and bullets some attempts to access the airport in the last week; they would also be cooperating with NATO to create something similar to an access corridor to the terminal. “So far I can say that they have granted us what we have needed ,” German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told the daily ‘Bild’. “Rather, the danger stems from the uncontrollable crowds.”
In the last week, 20 people have been crushed or shot between human columns trying to make their way to the terminal without food or water and in the heat of justice. Coalition forces, led by 6,000 US servicemen , joined by 660 members of the disbanded Afghan army, technically control the airfield.
But as despair grows, so do threats . This Monday there was an attack at the north entrance to the airport. An Afghan soldier was killed in the skirmish and three others were wounded, according to the German Defense Ministry. Although the assailants have not been identified, the incident comes two days after Washington warned of possible attacks by the Islamic State.
The rush to evacuate has increased due to the pressure exerted by war veterans from the different countries that participated in the war. Especially when seeing how the Taliban broke their promises of amnesty towards their former collaborators in the Afghan army, armed by the West.
This Monday 46 American veterans organizations sent a letter to the White House to fulfill “with the commitments acquired with our Afghan allies.” Otherwise, they argue, “America’s reputation abroad will suffer and confidence in our military will be undermined.”
Since the Taliban took power in Kabul, Washington has removed 37,000 people from the country and the pace of evacuations has improved. About 11,000 made it out in just one day last weekend.
“We hope we don’t have to extend the withdrawal date, but there will be discussions about it depending on how things go,” Biden acknowledged Sunday. And, in the meantime, the first attempts to resist the Taliban regime seem to be fading . Fundamentalists claimed on Monday they have regained control of the three southern provinces where an incipient revolt had been organized.
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